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Peace & Nonviolence

US Forces in Iraq Shift to Long-term Occupation

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  • Adil E. Shamoo, a professor of ethics, writes in What You Will Not Hear About Iraq, "Iraq has between 25 and 50 percent unemployment, a dysfunctional parliament, rampant disease, an epidemic of mental illness, and sprawling slums. The killing of innocent people has become part of daily life. What a havoc the United States has wreaked in Iraq...
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  • Iraq: Torture. Corruption. Civil war. America has Certainly Left Its Mark
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  • The occupation of Iraq isn't over - it's being rebranded
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Debra Sweet, The World Can't Wait

Sunday (Aug 22), the Associated Press reported "Baghdad - An American solider was killed in a rocket attack in southern Iraq on Sunday, the U.S. military said, marking the first American fatality since the last combat unit in Iraq pulled out of the country."

As the "last" combat brigade left Iraq, President Obama prepares to give a major speech next week.  He probably won't claim victory; that would be laughable.  He will claim that the U.S. is taking responsible action, now that the Iraqis are ready to "step up" and run "their own" country.  This is the same plan the Bush regime had, but framed and re-branded, Obama-style, to cover a thoroughly illegitimate occupation.

Jeremy Scahill said on Democracy Now earlier this month (August) that the combat role is shifting to the State Department, which "has plans to remake some US bases into what they call 'enduring presence posts,' EPPs. And so, you'll have these outposts around the country that are essentially-what is essentially unfolding here is a downsized and rebranded occupation, Obama-style, that is going to necessitate a surge in private forces.

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Iraq: Torture. Corruption. Civil war. America has Certainly Left Its Mark. Robert Fisk, London Independent | UK, in ZCommunications

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  • The American soldiers came. They saw. They lost. And now they say they've won. How the Arabs, surviving on six hours of electricity a day in their bleak country, must be hoping for no more victories like this one.
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  • The War on Iraq : Five US Presidents, Five British Prime Ministers, Thirty Years of Duplicity, and Counting....
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The occupation of Iraq isn't over - it's being rebranded, Debra Sweet, World Can't Wait

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  • The occupation of Iraq is only being re-branded, not ended. Despite President Obama's fallacious claims that the war in Iraq is winding down, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment is deploying!
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  • We Are Not Your Soldiers!
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  • Collateral Murder: U.S. Soldier Ethan McCord's Eyewitness Story
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Iraq: Torture. Corruption. Civil war. America has Certainly Left Its Mark.

The American soldiers came. They saw. They lost. And now they say they've won. How the Arabs, surviving on six hours of electricity a day in their bleak country, must be hoping for no more victories like this one.

Robert Fisk, London Independent | UK, in ZCommunications

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

When you invade someone else's country, there has to be a first soldier - just as there has to be a last.

The first man in front of the first unit of the first column of the invading American army to reach Fardous Square in the centre of Baghdad in 2003 was Corporal David Breeze of the 3rd Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment. For that reason, of course, he pointed out to me that he wasn't a soldier at all. Marines are not soldiers. They are Marines. But he hadn't talked to his mom for two months and so - equally inevitably - I offered him my satellite phone to call his home in Michigan. Every journalist knows you'll get a good story if you lend your phone to a soldier in a war.

"Hi, you guys," Corporal Breeze bellowed. "I'm in Baghdad. I'm ringing to say 'Hi! I love you. I'm doing fine. I love you guys.' The war will be over in a few days. I'll see you soon." Yes, they all said the war would be over soon. They didn't consult the Iraqis about this pleasant notion. The first suicide bombers - a policeman in a car and then two women in a car - had already hit the Americans on the long highway up to Baghdad. There would be hundreds more. There will be hundreds more in Iraq in the future.

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The War on Iraq : Five US Presidents, Five British Prime Ministers, Thirty Years of Duplicity, and Counting. ..., Felicity Arbuthnot, Global Research
"Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
 And the international wrong." (W.H. Auden, 1907-1973, writing in 1939.)

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Helping Veterans

Here are some capusle reviews in the hope that those interested in helping our brave troops reintegrate into society---regardless of your opinion of the wars they were involved in---will follow up.

Will Shapira, Evergreene Digest

I've been a member of Twin Cities Chapter 27 of Veterans for Peace (VFP) for about 10 years now. My qualifications as "veteran" are indeed meagre: a budget-shortened four years in the Minnesota Air National Guard. We were between Korea and Vietnam but every male over 18 had an eight-year military obligation, either on active duty or in a guard/reserve unit.

Eventually, I came to believe that organizations such as VFP, while founded on opposing war and its acoutrements, also have an obligation to help returning veterans. Not all of my VFP mates agree.

Over time, I have reviewed a number of books about this subject and related topics for the VFP national newsletter and the St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN)

Here are some capusle reviews in the hope that those interested in helping our brave troops reintegrate into society---regardless of your opinion of the wars they were involved in---will follow up:

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⁃    "Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care is Better Than Yours" by Phillip Longerman, PoliPointPress.  Yes, there always will be horror stories emerging from VA hospitals but Longman is convincing when he says it's not only doing the job for veterans but could do it for civilians, too, if given a chance. If single-payer ever has a chance to become a reality, Longman's game-plan would be a good one to follow.

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⁃    "The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle Against America's Veterans" by Aaron Glantz, University of California Press.  If there is anything more shameful that the way some of our veterans have been deprived or short-changed on the benefits due them, it only could be the illegal, immoral wars they were induced to participate in. While Longman lauds the VA's medical practices, Glantz assails its frustrating, often unjust and illegal bureaucracy.

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⁃    "The Patriot: The Official Magazine of Fisher House Foundation, Inc." www.fisherhouse.org. Not well known, this organization refurbishes and builds housing near veterans' hospitals for families and other loved ones to use while visiting. Contact them if you wish to assist in some way.

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⁃    "The Wounded Warrior Handbook: A Resource Guide for Returning Veterans" by Don Philpott and Janelle Hill, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. While readers of this article may never have go into the military themselves, they may be called upon to help a loved one returning from service or just want to help someone. This superb book is indispensable in that regard.

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⁃    "Advice from Veterans on Military Service and Recruiting Practices: A Resource Guide for Young People Considering Enlistment." Published by VFP's Veterans' Education and Outreach Project, this book is designed to either keep you from becoming a veteran or at the very least, let you know what you are getting yourself into. Contact VFP's head office. "The Conscientious Objector and the United States Armed Forces" by Daniel Shubin, Peace Church Challenge, Bakersfield, CA, has a similar mission.

In sum, if we wish to fulfill its claim to being a people of peace, we must extend our helping hands to those who participated in war but now wish to live in peace.

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Healing of Memories Workshop October 25-27

Please pass along to vets, service members, family members, and those who care for them that you know.

Sheila Laughton, Loyola Spirituality Center

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

The Healing of Memories Working Group of the Warrior to Citizen Campaign at the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College is trying to get the word out about an opportunity to attend a local Healing of Memories workshop. This will be an “open” workshop-- we expect veterans, service members, family members, and those who care for them.  Clergy and spiritual directors are also invited because of their unique pastoral care ministry.  Pain is universal and we all have memories we need to heal.

Attached is registration information for the October Healing of Memories Workshop with Fr. Michael Lapsley.  Attachments include a  one-page flyer suitable for posting and a brochure with insert to register or donate towards scholarships for vets or service members.

For further information, to register, and/or to make a donation for scholarships, please call Sheila Laughton at 651-641-0008 ext 13 with any questions.

Please share the workshop information with anyone you think might benefit from this experience.  We are limited to 20 in this workshop but hope to create an "interested" list for future workshops with local facilitators.

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Can we afford endless war?

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  • Minding our own business would be cheaper — and safer.
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  • We Can’t Afford War
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Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune | IL

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

Ben Sargent

It's a shame to let accountants spoil the charming romance of war, but sometimes they insist. Recently the Congressional Research Service reported that our military undertakings in Iraq and Afghanistan have marked an important milestone. Together, they have cost more than a trillion dollars.

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That doesn't sound like much in the age of TARP, ObamaCare and LeBron James, but it is. Adjusted for inflation, we have spent more on Iraq and Afghanistan than on any war in our history except World War II. They have cost more in real dollars than the Korean and Vietnam wars combined.

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But we can only wish we were getting off so lightly. Neither war is over, and neither is going to be soon. The House just approved $37 billion in extra funding to cover this year, and the administration wants another $159 billion for 2011. That won't be the final request.

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We Can’t Afford War, Amy Goodman, TruthDig.com

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  • “General Petraeus is a military man constantly at war with the facts,” began the MoveOn.org attack ad against Gen. David Petraeus back in 2007, after he had delivered a report to Congress on the status of the war in Iraq. George W. Bush was president, and MoveOn was accusing Petraeus of “cooking the books for the White House.” The campaign asked “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” on a full-page ad in The Washington Post. MoveOn took tremendous heat for the campaign, but stood its ground.
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  • Your Tax Dollars at War:  More Than 53% of Your Tax Payment Goes to the Military
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  • The War Is Making You Poor Act
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Beautiful Women Used to Obscure the Horrors of War

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  • Today (August 8), Time hits newsstands with a photo of a beautiful young woman with her nose cut off. Western photography, war, and beautiful "victims" have a long and fraught history.
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  • Time isn't the only with Photoshop and a political agenda.
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Daisy Hernandez, ColorLines

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On Monday (Aug 9) , Time magazine will hit newsstands and Ipads with its full story on the plight of women in Afghanistan<http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2007238,00.html> --- and the disturbing cover image that's already been intensely debated on the Internet.

The photo is of 18-year-old Aisha, a light brown Afghan woman with piercing eyes, a thick mane of dark hair, and her nose cut off. Her husband also sliced off her ears after she ran away from her in-law's home, where she was being beaten so badly she thought she would die.

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It's hard, perhaps impossible, to look at the picture of Aisha and not feel horror, anger, fear. What's to be done? Time's editors have just the solution. The story's headline reads: "What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan." Critics, including Muslim women bloggers, are accusing Time of exploiting Aisha to gather support for Obama's futile war in Afghanistan and boost dwindling sales of the magazine as well.

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Targeting Iran: Is the US Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust?

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The international community has endorsed nuclear war in the name of World Peace. "Making the World safer" is the justification for launching a military operation which could potentially result in a nuclear holocaust.
The Real Aim of Israel’s Bomb Iran Campaign

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research

The US and its allies are preparing to launch a nuclear war directed against Iran with devastating consequences.

This military adventure in the real sense of the word threatens the future of humanity.

While one can conceptualize the loss of life and destruction resulting from present-day wars including Iraq and Afghanistan, it is impossible to fully comprehend the devastation which might result  from a  Third World War, using "new technologies" and advanced weapons, until it occurs and becomes a reality.  

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The Real Aim of Israel’s Bomb Iran Campaign, Gareth Porter, FireDogLake.com

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  • What is important to understand about this campaign is that the aim of Gerecht and of the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is to support an attack by Israel so that the United States can be drawn into direct, full-scale war with Iran.
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  • The Republican back door to war with Iran
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  • Iran scientist: CIA offered me $50m to lie about nuclear secrets
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  • Write and speak out!  Silence is complicity!
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How the Military Destroys the Lives of Soldiers Who Try to Tell the Truth

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  • Bradley Manning is not the first military whistleblower to have his life ruined. The military is infamous for trying to silence soldiers who speak out against the war.
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  • Support Bradley Manning!
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Justine Sharrock, AlterNet

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell

Last week (Aug 1-7), Representative Mike Rogers called for the execution of military whistleblower, Private Bradley Manning. His crime? Sharing the “Collateral Murder” video and the classified Afghanistan “war logs” with Wikileaks, which exposed the truth behind the failing war in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s cooperation with the Taliban, and potential war crimes. The 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst said he felt it was "important that it gets out...I feel, for some bizarre reason...it might actually change something.” He is currently in jail at Quantico, on suicide watch, and is facing up to 50 years in prison for exposing information the American public has the right to know.

“The government is engaging in selective prosecution to ensure that employees keep their mouths shut,” says Stephen Khon, a lawyer specializing in whistleblowing cases. “All of a sudden the whistleblower becomes public enemy number one. There is no proportionality.”

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Support Bradley Manning! The World Can't Wait
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